Back to search

MILJØFORSK-Miljøforskning for en grønn samfunnsomstilling

Adaptive co-management to enhance biocultural diversity and sustainable development in coastal communities

Alternative title: Tilpasningsdyktig samdrift for å styrke biokulturelt mangfold og bærekraftig utvikling i kystsamfunn

Awarded: NOK 13.7 mill.

ACTIONABLE is a project which combines multiple disciplines and the knowledge of local and Indigenous communities to understand sustainable management of coastal land- and sea- scapes. The first key idea in ACTIONABLE is that people working together in collaborative sustainability projects, which encourage participation of local people, can help sustainable management of nature and the benefits we receive from it. But establishing these collaborative ways of managing nature can be difficult, because we place so many demands on particular places, especially along the coast. There is evidence that “round table institutions” which bring multiple stakeholders and sectors together, can help navigate and connect disparate interests and help in sustainable land- and sea- scape management. The second idea explored is that nature supports human needs, wellbeing, cultures, and identities, and that nature and culture are closely connected. This close relationship can be captured by the word “biocultural” – for example, how fish, the coast and fishing has shaped the identities of people along the Norwegian or Sápmi coast, and how traditions of the people along the Norwegian or Sápmi coast have shaped the sea. As multiple values and uses struggle for limited space and conflicts over coastal use become more common, we need an improved understanding how the synergies and trade-offs between different uses of nature. We are a partnership of research, community and business organizations (UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Heritage and Environmental Management, the Centre for Sustainable Area Management, LoVe utvikling, Nordhordland Biosfære, SAMAS, SINTEF and University of Saskatchewan). From an academic perspective we will explore the question with different research methods from the natural and social sciences, from an “on-the ground” perspective working with local people through our community partners, through consultations but also creative projects using film and art.

ACTIONABLE works to translate global sustainability imperatives and policies to local and regional coastal and marine realities through a transdisciplinary approach that facilitates exchange and learning between local and global institutions and stakeholders. ACTIONABLE will consider the changing social-ecological outlook of biocultural diversity and ecosystem services in three coastal regions in Norway, addressing the role of collaborative platforms and bridging institutions as pathways to localize Agenda 2030 (UN 2015). ACTIONABLE’s partners work together to understand adaptive co-management of coast and sea as enabled by round table institutions and sustainability designations in the coastal and marine areas of Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere, Lofoten UNESCO Biosphere Candidate and Sápmi Finnmark. ACTIONABLE advances current understanding of adaptive co-management effectiveness to achieve regenerative and fair development, investigating its potential to manage ecosystem service trade-offs triggered by different coastal and marine area uses, navigating disparate stakeholder interests and values. ACTIONABLE actively addresses these issues from a social-ecological perspective, through a biocultural approach that considers the complex relationships between coastal biological and cultural diversity. ACTIONABLE takes an explicitly transdisciplinary approach with societal impact as a core pillar and vision, co-producing knowledge to generate policy-relevant and solution-oriented research that helps identify place-based approaches to coastal sustainability challenges sensitive to local cultural narratives and biocultural perspectives. ACTIONABLE promotes resilient ecosystem service management by drawing on Indigenous and local knowledge to disentangle complex social-ecological interdependencies. Co-developing a monitoring and evaluation framework ACTIONABLE will inform sustainable management practices that support coastal identities and biodiversity.

Funding scheme:

MILJØFORSK-Miljøforskning for en grønn samfunnsomstilling